• Informatics is both cool and hot

    by  • July 6, 2013 • Madeleine Russell, reporters, stories • 1 Comment


    Scientific committee member for the International Olympiad in Informatics Jackson Gatenby has been eagerly awaiting the competition since 2009. He will assist in setting exam tasks and solutions.

    Queenslander Jackson Gatenby has been looking forward to this week for four years, when it was first announced that the International Olympiad in Informatics would be held at the University of Queensland.

    The UQ information technology and maths dual degree student is part of the Olympiad’s scientific committee, which is responsible for writing the exam tasks and solutions.

    Mr Gatenby said that, in Australia, most people were not aware of the field of informatics, so local competitors needed to work much harder than those from other countries competing.

    “It’s a very extracurricular thing that (Australian) students choose to do on their own free will,” Mr Gatenby said.

    “We live around technology all the time and we need people to be able to solve different computational problems to be able to use technology efficiently and correctly and the study of informatics allows you to solve these problems quickly.”

    The Queensland Program for Informatics, which Mr Gatenby works closely with, allows students to learn how to solve informatics problems and provides a pathway to the national and international informatics teams.

    “It’s very exciting to see the competition being held in Queensland, knowing that there’s 300 of the top high school minds from around the world coming to compete here, and it is really exciting to be apart of that,” Mr Gatenby said.

    He hoped that the prestigious competition would attract attention to the field of informatics.

    “With the media attention on the competition, hopefully it will show people that there is this field of study that is actually useful and that that might lead to technology education being pushed forward in Queensland,” he said.

    The International Olympiad for Informatics will be held at The University of Queensland’s St Lucia Campus from the July 6-13.

    This year’s IOI will see students from more than 80 countries competing in the field of informatics to win gold, silver and bronze medals.


    Madeleine Russell is studying a dual Bachelor of Journalism and Communication majoring in Communication, Media and Culture at the University of Queensland. She enjoys literature, photography, cooking and travelling the globe. After graduating she hopes to work in television broadcasting as a reporter.

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